While it seems unfathomable that paper forms, note cards or even napkins are part of the charge capture process for medical practices in the year 2021, there are still manual approaches being used for the medical billing process. As medaptus worked to migrate healthcare organizations from paper charges to technology, a lot of effort went into system design to ensure a time-neutral switch. More than this, we created a broad functionality platform to address workflow nuances and support interoperability initiatives.
What Matters for Adoption
In order to achieve adoption, technology must be intuitive to the physician with a limited number of clicks and taps. Charge capture is no different. The platform must be flexible and configurable to fit within a physician’s unique workflow. This can vary greatly from provider to provider and have implications depending on the EHR, care setting and specialty. Some physicians like to see a patient and then immediately write their notes and move on to capturing charges, which is a best practice. Others however prefer to sit down at a workstation and complete these tasks at the end of the day after all patient visits have finished. This is all dependent on the number and complexity of patients seen, at one or many hospital locations, and availability of EHR system access.
Outside of EHR-enabled charge documentation, mobile charge capture software is used to by providers on-the-go. For hospital medicine providers, there can be little face time with colleagues so the ability to digitally review information documented by other caregivers is helpful. Most charge capture technologies leverage native smartphone functionality to increase communication between providers (secure messaging is an example of this). The most robust platforms are neutral when it comes to the charge input mechanism – mobile app, web or EHR.
Meeting Organizational IT Needs
With provider oriented technologies, an intuitive user interface and rapid navigation is critical. But the software has to be right. Charge capture is like medical practice ‘middleware’ sitting in-between a scheduling or patient system and the end billing system. A robust technology platform will accept and normalize front end visit data so that providers always have the latest information on which patients to see, where, and when. After the process is complete, charges can be reviewed in real-time – and sent for billing the same day with full coding compliance.
So beyond a nice feature set, in order for charge capture automation to be accepted, it must advance IT goals which might range from leveraging existing investments to building a data warehouse.
Getting Revenue Cycle Management Results
When it comes to system performance expectations, given that charge capture sits at the center of the revenue cycle, demonstrable financial benefit remains a top priority. The goal of intelligent charge capture is after all to eliminate lost charges, reduce charge lag and improve compliance. Beyond financial and efficiency benefits, a robust electronic charge capture technology can also drive workflow improvements around the administrative aspects of charge review.
Next Up: Teaming with Business Offices for Coding/Billing Support